Elijah Phompho, MEC stringer, Chikwawa
The rulling (DPP) parliamentary aspirant in Chikwawa West Constituency Councillor Dyson Manjolo has challenged the party he shall disregard the directive for aspirants not to stand as independent candidate after primary elections unless the party level the playing field for all aspirants.
Councillor Manjolo who is the current Council Chairperson for Chikwawa district Assembly has among other things complained that as an aspirant he is being blocked to meet area commitees of the costituency to campaign. Manjolo blamed the constituency committee for not opening up in disclosing venue and when the primary elections are to be conducted in the constituency.
According to Councillor Manjolo the incumbent MP for the Costituency Kennedy Maluwa is using his position as the director of campaign for the DPP to influence party leaders in the costituency not to tolerate other aspirants. He said party leaders are not attending campaign rallies he is organising in the constituency.
Councillor Manjolo said: “The party gave us permission to campaign in the costituency ahead of the primary elections. However, the MP for this area is the regional campaign director for the party and has advised party leaders in the constituency not to be attending our rallies”.
“The curent constituency committee is under the MP for the area and they have created few areas in Chimwanjale ward where I come from unlike in Chibisa ward where Maluwa comes from. They are planning that the primary elections should be held in the area where Hon Maluwa has majority of surppoters in order for the MP to have an upper hand on the day of primary elections,” Manjolo said.
Councillor Dyson Manjolo said he has since written DPP southern regional governor Charles Mchacha on the concerns but he is yet to get response. Manjolo vowed no to sign a commitment form accepting not to contest as an independent candidate should he loose during the party’s primary elections until the party resolves his concerns saying he is having support from ordinary people on the ground.
However, southern regional governor for the DPP Charles Mchacha said the party does not resolve its grievances in the media
” As a party we do not resolve concerns through the media. We have constituency offices, district offices and regional offices where we can resolve party issues and hence would not want to comment much”, Mchacha said.
On his part MP for Chikwawa West constituency Kennedy Maluwa denied advising party leaders in the constituency not to attend rallies for other aspirants. Maluwa said the responsibility of formulating area structures in the constituency is in the hands of the party’s constituency and district governor.
Member of Parliament for Chikwawa west constituency Kennedy Maluwa is facing stiff competition from council chairperson for Chikwawa district Councillor Dyson Manjolo and Susan Dosi who is daughter to former parliamentarian for the area Moses Dosi.
The ruling DPP is yet to announce a date when it shall conduct its primary elections.